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S4 Finance: Ledgers & Ledger Groups

Concept of Extension Ledger

With SFin / S4 Finance, SAP has introduced a new Ledger concept – the Extension Ledger. There are now 4 types of Ledgers in S4 Finance:

  • Leading Ledger: 0L is the “standard” Leading Ledger in a standard SAP system. When non-Ledger specific financial documents are posted, this Ledger is always updated, for all company codes. The records are written to table ACDOCA.
  • Non-Leading Ledger: You can define your “standard” Non-Leading Ledger. These are parallel Ledgers, for example, based on local accounting principles. The records created in the Leading Ledger are written as records in the Non-Leading Ledger in table ACDOCA.
  • Extension Ledger: You can define “non-standard” Extension Ledgers. There are also parallel Ledgers, for example, based on local accounting principles. Extension Ledger are created as a layer on top of an “underlying Ledger”. Hence, all postings from the underlying Ledger apply to the Extension Ledger. Records created in the leading Ledger in ACDOCA are not copied into Extension Ledgers in table ACDOCA. The system implicitly assumes that records written for Leading Ledger are part of Extension Ledger.
  • Day Ledger: I will not discuss this Ledger as part of this blog.

When Non-Leading Ledger or Extension Ledger is created, the system automatically creates a Ledger Group in the background. This Ledger Group cannot be modified (i.e. you cannot add additional Ledgers to the group). However, you can create additional Ledger Groups that comprise multiple Non-Leading Ledgers.

Manual postings can be made to Non-Leading Ledgers or Extension Ledgers using Transaction Codes FB50L, FB01L, FV50L. These manual postings are the variations from Leading Ledger to make the Non-Leading Ledger or Extension Ledger compliant to the Accounting Principle assigned to the Ledger. Hence, Ledger specific postings post to those specific Ledgers only – leading ledger is not impacted; whereas non-Ledger postings post to Leading Ledger.

Postings are made to Ledger Groups and not to individual Ledgers. Hence, if you want to post manually to multiple Non-Leading Ledgers you can create a Ledger group, comprising all these Ledgers, to post simultaneously to all of them.


Ledger reports

Reports can be obtained from Ledgers as depicted below:

  • Leading Ledger – all postings to Leading Ledger in Table ACDOCA
  • Non-Leading Ledger – all postings to Non-Leading Ledger and any manual postings to Non-Leading Ledger reflected in Table ACDOCA
  • Extension Ledger – all postings to Leading Ledger and any manual postings to Extension Ledger reflected in Table ACDOCA

Example Extract of ACDOCA and reporting from Ledgers

The colours represent the Ledger to which the records in ACDOCA are relevant to.


Similarities and Differences

Non-Leading Ledger and Extension Ledger are suspiciously similar in features.

  • Both allow assignment of a different accounting principle (parallel accounting).
  • Manual postings to both Ledgers can be made using transaction FB01L or FB50L or FV50L.
  • Manual postings to both are not allowed to subledger accounts or GL that are managed as open items
  • Posting Period can be different from posting period of the underlying Ledger.
  • Currencies of both Ledgers should be the same as its underlying Ledger


Below are the key differences:

  • The underlying Ledger for an Extension Ledger cannot be another Extension Ledger (it could be the Leading Ledger or a Non-Leading Ledger). Non-Leading Ledger is an underlying Ledger by itself.
  • Custom Ledger Group can be defined for Non-Leading Ledgers but not for Extension Ledgers. One Ledger Group is automatically created when the Extension Ledger is created.
  • You can define freely defined currencies in Non-Leading Ledger but not in Extension Ledgers.
  • You can assign a different Fiscal Year Variant for a Non-Leading Ledger. Fiscal Year Variant of Extension Ledger is inherited from its underlying Ledger.
  • All postings to Non-Leading Ledgers create entries in table ACDOCA. However, with Extension Ledger, the postings in the underlying Ledger are inherited by the Extension Ledger. This eliminates the need for redundant data storage.


Use Cases of Non-Leading Ledger or Extension Ledger

  • Non-Leading Ledgers or Extension Ledgers can be used to comply the financials to specific Accounting Principles
  • Non-Leading Ledger allows fiscal year variant different from the Leading Ledger. This could be useful if the Tax Year or Global reporting year is different from local reporting year
  • Non-Leading Ledger or Extension Ledger could substitute the erstwhile Special Purpose Ledger (if there is a justification to continue the Special Purpose Ledger).


Anomalies in S4 Ledger configuration

  • You can assign Accounting Principle in the configuration of Extension Ledger, as a combination of Extension Ledger and Company Code. Under the Parallel Accounting configuration, you can assign Accounting Principle to Ledger Group. Hence, you could (technically) assign different Accounting Principle to a Ledger and its Ledger Group. I think this needs to be manually managed till it is fixed in future versions of S4 HANA.
  • Assigning Scenarios to Ledger configuration is not available in Ledger configuration, though the Help Portal explains how to configure it.


Future State?

Extension Ledgers provide reduction in data redundancy. It has most of the features of non-Leading Ledger. Does the non-Leading Ledger have any place in future state of S4 Finance? Non-Leading Ledger provides a different Fiscal Year compared to Leading Ledger (not available in Extension Ledger) – this is the feature that will be missed in this future state.



Parallel Accounting and Accounting Principles

Parallel Accounting allows you to portray multiple Accounting Principles (e.g. IFRS, IAS, GAAP) within any given company code. You can perform valuation and closing operations of the company code according to each Accounting Principle without copying or massaging the data outside of SAP.

SAP suggests 3 approaches to portraying Parallel Accounting:

  • Portrayal using Additional Accounts – create additional accounts within the Leading Ledger Accounts specifically for compliance to Accounting Principles. Excluding or including these additional accounts can achieve Parallel Accounting
  • Portrayal using Additional Company Codes – create a new company code to post additional entries for compliance to Accounting Principles. Reports combining company codes or individual company codes can achieve Parallel Accounting
  • Portrayal using Parallel Ledgers – Topic of this blog; use Non-Leading or Extension Ledgers to achieve parallel accounting


S/4 HANA Cloud 1709

Blog focuses on additional features compared to ECC. Good knowledge of ECC is assumed.

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  • Hello Rajesh,

    thanks to bring the discussion about multiples ledgers in parallel ledger approaching on S/4 Hana finance.

    About the statement:

    “…you can assign Accounting Principle to Ledger Group. Hence, you could (technically) assign different Accounting Principle to a Ledger and its Ledger Group.” 

    Yes, technically it is possible. Very confusing maintainments it is. However it isn’t posible define parallel valuation on New Assets Accounting. This is the main concern on this, I would say.

    All the best



    • Hi Marssel

      Agree, I have not looked at impact on Asset Accounting. I will update the blog when I check out. Thanks for your insights.




  • Good one Rajesh. Very informative. Thanks for the share.

    On other note, do you have a write up on multi currency accounting in SAP S/4 Hana finance?

    Keep writing 🙂


  • Rajesh – Wonderful article, puts all the required info in ONE PLACE.


    Among use case for Extn Ledger – Is it more for a specific GAAP? And hence i doubt if it is targeted to replace NON LEADING, it sounds more of a leading GAAP ledger with a different view for different reasons 😉

    • Hi Kishore

      My  gut feel is that since extension ledger offers data redundancy and offers same features as non-leading ledger, what is the justification to retain both? I might have missed something..??

  • Hello, Rajesh sir.

    Need one more small help that do you have anything in SAP CO on S/4 HANA , any documentation or videos .


    Thanks in adv .


  • Hello Rajesh,

    Very nice and useful information for many SAP consultants. you are helping to others it’s great job.

    Please keep posting new updates. Thank you so much.

    If possible can you please post few use-cases in business about extension ledger.